Thursday, December 21, 2006

marital advice

Now, lest you think I'm about to hand out marriage advice when I've only been married a year and half, don't worry -- I'm not. You can read on. :)

When we got married, the guests were handed little heart-shaped cards on which we requested they write their advice to us as newlyweds. Well, as you can imagine, we got our share of goofy and strange replies, but we also received a wealth of good little tidbits from seasoned married people and the Scriptures. I was looking through them today, and wanted to share some of the goodies. :) First, the serious ones.......

  • Remember it's harder to love each other in the hard times, but it means so much. And you will be in our prayers.
  • Keep your love sweet. As you don't want to lose your first love with the Saviour, don't lose your first love with the mate God has given you.
  • Lots of hugs and kisses every day and every night!
  • Don't compare your relationship to anyone else.
  • As you grow in your love for the Lord, your love for each other will naturally grow with it.
  • Grow young together and keep the faith. Just keep loving each other no matter what.
  • Each for the other......both for the Lord.
  • Never go to bed angry with each other. Enjoy every moment -- before you know it, you're gray!!
  • Christ only, always.
  • Patience is the key. Think before you speak. Always be kind to each other and most of all loving. Walk with God beside you.
  • Put each other first (after putting the Lord first).
  • Always say I love you. Keep God first in your lives.
  • Always keep the romance in your marriage -- little notes, flowers, special meals, surprise get-aways. Lord bless you both!
  • "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
  • ".....and He will lead those He has redeemed."
  • Rejoice in the Lord always. This makes it so much easier to rejoice in those around us.
  • Don't tell your family members all about the arguments you have with each other. Soon you will get them resolved, but your family won't hear about that part. They will only hear about your arguments. They will think your spouse is a terrible person. So keep your disagreements between each other.
  • I challenge you to serve the Lord together faithfully in your local church and in your relationship.
  • Develop a good sense of humor. Make sure you say "I love you" every day. And a kiss -- don't leave home without it!
  • Ask God to help you overlook each other's faults. Be humble, not proud.
  • Focus on the 90% that is great in your husband, not the 10% of his shortcomings.
  • Choose your words wisely.
  • Someone told me once that when you get married young, make sure that you grow together. I would add make sure you grow closer to the Lord each day and you will grow closer to each other.
  • When something is forgiven, don't bring it up again!
  • It will be "natural" for you to expect your mate to have your parents' strengths. It will be "spiritual" if you recognize and build your mate's strengths.
  • Give massages freely. :)

Now a few sillier ones......these made us laugh as we were driving back to Canada.

  • Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away AND you've got their shoes.
  • When you make grilled cheese, make sure the cheese is on the bread. :)
  • Clean your bedroom well and don't have 11 kids.
  • Nurse Missy, be nice to James and check his pulse and temperature.
  • Don't give Melissa a credit card and make sure to control the remote (James).
  • Make sure to take off the first day of walleye season. Chew with your mouth closed. And remember, the husband is always right. (written by a man, of course)
  • Sorry, Melissa, you should have asked us before the vows (from James' Uncle Henry)
  • Pay NO attention to Uncle Henry (from Uncle Henry's kids)
  • I think that you two should enjoy a sunset together, make every moment a joyous time of togetherness, and see each other in the beauty of a rose. :)
  • James -- if she starts yelling, start nodding real fast. If she then yells louder, switch tactics and start shaking your head real fast. Works every time.

And top prize goes to........a card that is completely stained through with oil/salad dressing. The inscription reads "Don't eat salad on top of the advice card!!!!"

I'm glad we did this. If I ever feel discouraged, I can pull these cards out and read them. They never fail to encourage me, make me cry, or at the very least, make me smile. :-D I love being married.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas prep

So......

Life is busy. But whose isn't this time of year? I gotta say I love it though....... Just going to the mall and hearing Christmas tunes and shoving your way through throngs of people. Woo hoo. And NO SNOW!! Hallelujah! Seeing Santa at the mall does make me happy, though. I think he should be there all year round, so at least I would have one reason to smile when I went to the mall. But anyways.....

Work is keeping us both busy. We are both in fields where we could end up working any or all holidays, but we actually aren't working too many hours!!! I am working 8 hours on Christmas and 8 hours on Boxing Day and that's all. Nothing on New Year's Eve or Day, and James has every single one off. Hmmmmm. Is there a catch somewhere?

Lots of Christmas cards are starting to arrive to fill the mantle. I think most of the shopping has been done, just need to get some stuff to fill the stockings and gifts for the exchange at Jamie's parents' house on Christmas Day. Can it really be going this smoothly? :)

I have not really had my jobs very long, one for about two months, the other only about a month, so I was not overly expecting anything from them around the holidays. But, from my private care job, I got a big basket of goodies for Christmas, and from the nursing home, I got a turkey!! Guess what James got? Nothing! What else can we expect from the government? Ha ha, they're all the same.

I took care of a lady for two weeks back in October, and we kind of became friends through it all. We just hit it off really well, so now we drop each other notes just to say hi every once in a while and all that. Anyways, I got a Christmas card from her in the mail the other day, and I was soooooo surprised to see that she had included a very hefty gift certificate to a cute little restaurant in town! But even more than that, it was touching to read what she wrote.......I think that being appreciated is one of the best feelings in the world.

So, what else? Well, it's 7:53 am and I need to get going. I just got home from work about 45 minutes ago. Now I need to shower and get a pot of chili going for supper tonight. Then around 10:00, I'm headed over to the in-laws for Christmas baking. Will the fun never end? Yes, unfortunately, it will.......right after Christmas. And then, just when my spirits threaten to damper, it arrives just in time -- the paycheck with holiday pay!!!! Now THAT is something to look forward to.......

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas carols for the disturbed......

LOL, these had me cracking up!!!

1. Schizophrenia --- Do You Hear What I Hear?

2. Multiple Personality Disorder --- We Three Kings Disoriented Are

3. Dementia --- Was I Going To Be Home for Christmas?

4. Narcissistic --- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

5. Manic --- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and.....

6. Paranoid --- Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me

7. Borderline Personality Disorder --- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire...

8. Personality Disorder --- You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why...

9. Attention Deficit Disorder --- Silent Night, Holy Oooh look at the Nativity, Can I have a chocolate, Why is Santa's suit red?

10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder --- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle....

wow

Something happened in our church on Sunday that both confused and saddened us. I think we are both still reeling from the shock. I can't really go into too many details, but I hope and pray that it is a situation that can be worked out. And please pray that our reaction will be the proper one. I think my husband is going to talk to our pastor this week.

I almost think this is God's way of saying that we can't get too comfortable in our surroundings, we need to actively seek His face and yearn to serve Him ON OUR OWN. The church, while it is necessary and a great source of encouragement and growth, CANNOT be our crutch.

This probably doesn't make too much sense, but I wanted to vent a little. I may post more later, depending on what happens.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

it's getting old

For all those of you out there who are eagerly anticipating the arrival of snow, this post will seem petty and annoying and whiny to you. So skip it if you must. But.......

I am sick of snow!!!!

Honestly, how many days in a row can it snow? I think we're on about the seventh day now, and it's driving me nuts. It's oh so much fun to have to start the car about 15 minutes before you want to leave, clear all the snow off it, scrape the ice off the windows, get the bottoms of your pants wet, and skid off the highway almost leading to your death while driving. Love it! And gotta love those huge piles of pretty white stuff sitting on our street that will doubtless become icky muddy brown heaps in a matter of a few days.

Winter can go.......come summer!!!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

I am in love.......

with my new iPod!!! (oh yeah, and with my husband too, since he bought it for me :)

Anywho, it is the cutest thing! And I can see how it would be addicting to keep downloading songs with money that you don't have. :) It's an iPod shuffle, measures only about an inch and a half across -- I know, crazy, right? But I <3 it. It has given me a reason to relive my youth (i.e. downloading my favorite songs from the 90's and high school days).

The wonders of technology......

Monday, December 4, 2006

my life......exposed!

So, I was tagged, and I'm actually responding? Can it be true? :) Enjoy!

ABC's Meme

A - Available/Single? my husband says no :)

B - Best Friend? well, Jamie is definitely my best friend..........as far as girls go, I'd say I have two or three that are pretty close

C- Cake or Pie? depends on my mood........but I will say pie (just not blueberry!)

D - Drink Of Choice? iced tea

E - Essential Item You Use Everyday? toothbrush, hairbrush, deodorant, and the shower........I guess clothes are good too!

F - Favorite Color? pink and purple and black

G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? I like those sour worms.....

H - Hometown? definitely Allentown, PA

I - Indulgence? ummmm going shopping and spending lots of money!

J - January Or February? I guess January.........I've never particularly liked February

K- Kids & Their Names? kids are all right, I guess :) As far as names go, I like Jacob and Adrianna

L - Life Is Incomplete Without? my relationship with God, my husband, and my family

M - Marriage Date? July 23, 2005!

N- Number Of Siblings? two big brothers, one big sister, and one little brother who is a lot bigger than me

O - Oranges Or Apples? again, depends on my mood, but I guess apples

P - Phobias/Fears? I do NOT like any bugs, spiders, bats, being alone in the dark, birds, MOLD......yeah, I'm pretty creeped out by a lot of things

Q - Favorite Quote? "No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly"

R - Reason to Smile? I have the day off!!

S - Season? SUMMER!!! Bring it on!

T - Tag Two Or Three People? yah, whoever wants to

U - Unknown Fact About Me? I was hit by a car when I was 13 years old

V - Vegetable you don’t like? brussels sprouts is the only thing that's coming to mind

W - Worst Habit? I guess I talk too much and I'm rather stubborn

X - X-rays You’ve Had? oh, lots.........chest, teeth, abdomen, arm, back, and who knows what else

Y - Your Favorite Food? I like the answer Anne gave.......ice cream makes me happy! :)

Z - Zodiac Sign? Leo........rowwrrr!

There, my blog officially feels like myspace!

Saturday, December 2, 2006

medical imponderables

I was going to title this "sick as a dog." Then I got to thinking, where did that expression come from anyways? I have never seen a dog with a cold or the flu.......maybe an upset stomach for a little while, but that's about it. So why do we, as humans, compare our sick selves to the generally healthy dog?

Another question I have been wondering about. (I've been sick, so I have had a lot of time to sit around and think. This is not normal behavior. :)) So, do cold medications really help you to get better faster, or do they merely mask your symptoms? I know I shouldn't be asking this, cuz y'all will just say, you're a nurse, you should know. :) And yet I have this great question, even with the letters R.N. behind my name. I tend to think cold meds just mask the symptoms to make you more comfortable while your body heals itself (or rather God heals it). I think there have been plenty of times when I didn't take any medication at all, and miracle of miracles, I STILL GOT BETTER!!!

Also, does the flu shot make you get sick? I have heard so many reports and studies saying, no, it doesn't, it can't, it's not a live virus, etc etc etc. But all I know is that I got the flu shot on Tuesday of last week and I was sick by Friday of that same week. A week later here, I am on the mend, but my husband has no signs of it at all, and we're usually quite good at sharing. So, I tend to think that it's a bit too coincidental for my liking. I would never have gotten the shot if it weren't required for my job.......I think I will charge the costs of my Kleenex and juice and Tylenol Cold to my employer. The thought of even attempting such a thing makes me smile. :)

Hmmm, on a side note.........still medically speaking, but not necessarily imponderable........my mom is not doing all that well. She is having so much pain, and she is going to see a specialist on Monday. If you remember, I'd appreciate your prayers!!

P.S. Confidential to Jeanette in Oregon: Happy 27th birthday, big sis!!! Yeah, you're old now! (I feel a little like Dear Abby writing a little confidential postscript to someone........lol)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

proud of myself

What do you do with a free day all to yourself? I got home from work around 7 am, all tired out.

Here's what I wanted to do -- jump into bed and pull the blankets around my neck and stay there until late afternoon, then get up and watch TV and eat cereal in my jammies.

Here's what I did -- ate breakfast, took Jamie to work, wrote a letter, checked my email, rinsed some dishes, started the laundry, started addressing Christmas cards, played with the cat, showered, went to the gym and ran on a treadmill for 45 minutes, showered again, volunteered at the retirement home for 2 hours, and did a little Christmas shopping. Next, I am headed to my in-laws for dinner, and then off to work again at 9 pm.

End result -- yup, I'm a little bit tired. But I have this great sense of accomplishment that I would never have had from sleeping the day away. So, for that, I am PROUD of myself.

P.S. I think it helped that the weather was absolutely beautiful today, almost 60 degrees. I will credit the weather with my productive day. Besides, I can always crash tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

randomness about ME

I attend Brampton International Baptist Church.

I am married, but I don't have any kids.

My "kid" for now is my kitty Spencer.

I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and I LOVE it there!!

I currently live in Ontario, Canada.

I met my husband at Pensacola Christian College in Florida.

I would love to travel to Europe or Australia.

I have three brothers and one sister.

I have eight sisters-in-law and six brothers-in-law.

I know how to play the piano.

I have never taken piano lessons.

I am obsessed with Tim Horton's iced cappuccinos.

I love flip flops and would rather freeze my toes off than put on socks and shoes.

I know how to type, with all the right fingers, too.

I love to bake, but I really don't like to cook.

I have the best parents anyone could ever want.

I am a registered nurse.

I wear a size eight in sneakers, but usually eight and a half in regular shoes.

I went to school in Florida for four years.

I was homeschooled for kindergarten.

My oldest brother is a missionary in South Korea.

I am left-handed.

I am one of the biggest New York Yankees fans in the world.

I have six nieces and one nephew on the way.

I think Brett Favre is the greatest quarterback to ever play the game of football.

I have glasses, but I rarely wear them.

My hair is finally its natural color and hopefully will stay that way.

I used to hate roller coasters, but now that is the only reason I will go to an amusement park.

I lived with my grandmother for almost two years.

I graduated from high school with a 4.0 average.

I got my ears pierced when I was 11.

I got them pierced again when I was 18.

I love working with elderly people.

I have two jobs and I volunteer at a retirement home.

I think hunting as a general rule is wrong.

However, I still eat meat........but I will not touch deer meat.

I was once in the halftime show of a hockey game when I was 11 or 12.

Red and pink are my most favorite colors to wear.

I have a very average IQ.

I skipped seventh grade.

I love NFL football, and I cannot go a week during the season without watching it.

My favorite cartoon is Spongebob Squarepants........watch it, you will laugh.

I like iced tea, but not Nestea or Lipton. It has to be something like Arizona or Snapple.

I think staplers are one of the coolest inventions on earth.

I love doing any kind of word games or puzzles.

I have the best family, biological and in-laws.

No one can make me laugh as hard as my brothers.

I like to bowl, even though I am not very good at it.

I love toques, they cover up bad hair days.

I wrote a letter to Santa Claus last year.

Santa Claus wrote me back last year.

I hate baths, but I could take an hour-long shower.

I sometimes get sick off the ice cream at Dairy Queen.

This, however, does not stop me from buying ice cream at Dairy Queen.

I could watch I Love Lucy reruns all day.

I got engaged on the day that my sister got married.

This is only a start.

Watch for randomness about ME, part two.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Christmas pics

our homey little Christmas scene
pretty lights

And who doesn't love a good kitty picture?


news headlines

hey there, boys and girls.......just some updates.

1. I got my second job!! I start on the 20th. And I actually got the shift I wanted.

2. Spencer is getting spayed on the 27th.........she doesn't know yet. :)

3. James finally got his first paycheck from the OPP.......after what, almost a month? I don't know what they thought we were living on.

4. We set up our Christmas tree on the 14th!!! It looks so pretty!!!! Pictures to follow.

5. We joined a gym yesterday.........Jamie, so he can be in good shape for the OPP, and me, so I can get rid of my tummy and jiggly thighs. We'll see how this works out (no pun intended).

6. I talked to my sister the other day, and she is having a..........oh wait, why should I tell you? Okay, never mind, it's a BOY!!!!! After six nieces, I will finally have a nephew!

7. I have a good job this week. I am staying overnight at a lady's house, just to keep an eye on her. She sleeps mostly, so I can do anything else I want. Her daughter keeps me well supplied with lots of food, soda, blankets, pillows, magazines, puzzle books, etc. It's pretty sweet. And I'm even getting paid for it. :)

8. Okay, I guess that's about it. What's not to love about life? :)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

lucky people

I just wanted to tell all you people who live in the USA how very lucky you are. I used to be one of these lucky people, so I should know.

Anyways, you might wonder, why are you so lucky?

The answer is really quite simple -- you can buy butter and margarine in sticks! That is a luxury I have yet to find here in Canada. My mom brought me a bunch last time she visited, and that was my favorite present! Up here, they sell it in big chunks, equivalent to about four sticks of butter. Yuck, it's so annoying to have to saw through that gooey mass to get 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup or whatever. Yup, people who can buy it in sticks and not think twice about it are lucky.

Crazy the things that make me happy. :)

coincidence?

Well, I finally got so sick of our old flat bed pillows that don't have an ounce of stuffing left in them. I would try to fluff them every night before bed, but alas, there was nothing to fluff. I would wake up with a sore neck b/c of them. I would wake up 4-5 times in the night b/c of them. Soooooooo, I finally got rid of them and got new ones!!! Yay!!

Anyways, the question I wanted answered was.......do new pillows make you dream weird things? :) It seems every night since we have had them, I have dreamed something totally strange and irrational and not even really nice. First, I dreamed that Jamie died (horrible!). The next night, I dreamed that my dad died (also horrible!). The next night, I dreamed that Jamie wanted to marry someone else (!!!!!!!!). And let me tell you, these were quite in-depth and vivid dreams, too, that lasted the whole night through.

So, is it the pillows that caused it? Or something else? My theory is that the pillows are making me have much better sleep, therefore I sleep through the entire night, therefore I go through the REM cycle (the deepest part of sleep when you dream), therefore I can remember the dreams? I don't know, but it's wild. Although I'm not complaining about getting extra good rest.

Well, that's all for now. I have a cat sitting on my keyboard who wants to be fed. :)

Monday, November 6, 2006

just what i needed

Let me just start off by saying that I LOVE my church. It is a missionary plant, started just over five years ago here in Brampton, Ontario. The pastor and his wife are missionaries from the States......that makes me feel right at home. :) It is a little church in a very hardened area, but we are seeing tremendous growth, and both my husband and I feel blessed to be a part of this work while we are living in this area. Our pastor is an amazing speaker, and I can always get something out of his messages. But I just love it when I go to church, and the message seems to be directed at me, preached with me directly in mind. Not that anyone actually "likes" being reproved or having sin pointed out in their life, but I love how God knows exactly what we need and never fails to give it to us.

To the real point........

Last night, our pastor preached a message about sin in the life of the Christian. He made sooooo many good points, so I will attempt to list a few here. First off, I think the first words out of his mouth were "Sin is INCOMPATIBLE in the life of a Christian." Period. There are absolutely no exceptions. Not even that show I watch on TV that I know I probably shouldn't. Not that little not-so-bad word I let slip when I'm driving and someone cuts in front of me. Not the anger I hold in my heart toward someone. When you think about the fact that any and all sin is the work of the devil himself, why is that something I would want to be involved in, no matter how "little" it may seem to me?

Sin is out-and-out breaking God's law. God says do something, and I don't; or He says don't do something, and I do it anyways. I don't mean to say that Christians will never sin, b/c we obviously know that's not true. Sin is inevitable, but it is also avoidable! Our pastor said something simple, yet very profound -- "WE DON'T HAVE TO SIN AS MUCH AS WE DO!" I think sometimes I get in this rut and say, "oh well, everyone sins." Yes, everyone does sin, but shouldn't I make a practice of AVOIDING sin instead of making excuses for it? Is my desire (my sin) more important than Christ my Saviour? I should hope not.

One of the last things I wanted to mention that really made me think didn't have to do with sin directly, but it pricked at my heart. On Wednesdays at church, we are studying different religions of the world and what they believe and so on and so forth. One dominant theme of many of the religions is that these people make their gods their life. They are so dedicated.....they pray constantly, they would even be willing to die for their gods in some instances. Then I look at my heart. Is my God my LIFE, or am I guilty of making Him just a part of my life? Is He something I just throw in when it's convenient for me? Our relationship should just be so natural that I don't have to sit and think about where I can fit Him in.........it should be the other things in my life that I am fitting in!

Wow, so many things from one message to think and pray about. Just thought I'd share them in case you might get something out of it too. :)

Thursday, November 2, 2006

FYI

I just wanted to say that my husband is amazing.

Beyond amazing.

That is all (for now). :)

O Canada....

Well, yesterday was a very interesting day. I got a letter a couple of weeks ago that said I needed to appear at Immigration Canada on November 1 at 1:00 pm with my husband. Now let me just explain that up until this point, we have been filing paperwork and dishing out $$$ nonstop for them........this whole process started about a year ago. They want so many things........fingerprints from the United States AND the state of PA (what's the difference, who knows?), criminal records checks from the United States, PA, and Canada, results of a physical I had done here in Canada, results of a chest X-ray and bloodwork from here in Canada, tons and tons of little passport photos (I think we counted they wanted 12), a very thick application packet, etc etc etc. They wanted to know when we met, how long we had known each other, where was the wedding, when was the wedding, when did you meet each other's families, and they also wanted pictures of dates we had been on as well as pictures of the wedding! Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but I guess a lot of people marry out of convenience just to be able to immigrate to Canada........being the proud American that I am, I don't think I would ever do that..........

Anyhow, we get there for our 1 pm appointment, and discover that there are roughly 50-60 other people also there with a 1 pm appointment. Let me just insert here that we, as white people, were definitely in the minority here. Kind of a strange and not-so-nice feeling. Maybe I should think about that the next time I think about judging someone b/c they may be a minority. Back on subject -- a little before 1:00, a lady got up and herded us (like cattle seriously) into another classroom-like room. Then she announced that there were 4 officers who would be conducting the interviews, and our names would be called RANDOMLY. I was like, oh great, we'll be here all day. Just as that thought entered my head, the lady stood up and began calling names, and she called MY NAME first. Woohoo for us......don't know exactly how that worked b/c my last name comes very close to the end of the alphabet, but we weren't asking any questions!!!

As for the interview part itself, that was really a breeze. They asked me a couple of questions such as do I have any children back in the States, have I ever received social assistance from the government, and have I had any trouble with the police since I have moved to Canada. I almost laughed and said, well, my husband here is a cop, and I'm always in trouble with him..........but didn't............lol. They said, okay, great, sign here and here and here and here and welcome to Canada! Then they made sure to inform my husband that did he realize that this was a three year sponsorship agreement, meaning he has to take care of me and provide for me for at least three years or I will be deported. It seems sad that they have to clarify things like that.......it's a harsh reality that people don't take their marriage vows seriously anymore, but thankfully, we intend to stay married a lot longer than three years, til death do us part!!

Anyhow, I am now a permanent resident of Canada. If I so desire, I can apply to become a citizen in three years, but I do not think that will happen. America is where my heart is (countrywise anyways..........my heart truly belongs to God first and then my husband). But for now, here I am in Canada, b/c that's where Jamie is. Why would I want to be anywhere else?

BTW, yes, I do know all the words to the Canadian national anthem O Canada. That is more than I can say for a lot of Canadians.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

yikes

hmmmm, so it's been like, what, 38 years since I posted on this thing? My page looked a little lost with the pumpkin entry still at the top, soooooo I'm going to take care of that right now......

So much has happened! And I think ALL of it is good! Or at least it will be in the long run. First off, and probably the most exciting is that my husband got accepted by the OPP (Ontario Provincial Police)!!!!! He got a call, oh, last week, and they said we have an opening to fill and we want you to fill it and can you be here Monday morning, yadda yadda yadda. Needless to say, he was SOOOOOO excited!!! If you knew my husband at all, you would know that he would have done anything to get out of his other job, and here, it just fell into his lap. Only sad thing is that he is away this WHOLE week........he went off for training, so I am stuck here at home by myself. And if I sound like I'm whining, it's b/c I AM..........so you all better feel sorry for me! :) He'll be home on Friday though........I guess I should count my blessings that he will not be away for nearly as long as Nikki's husband.

Next news is that I myself got a job. That might not be very exciting to most people, but to me, who hasn't worked in over a year, I'd say it's like the highlight of the century............lol. Anyways, current job is taking care of a lady at her home while she recovers from pneumonia. I'm actually working for an agency that provides this type of service. However, I have an interview Thursday at a nursing home, which I hope will be my main job, and then possibly work for this agency on the side. Right now, it's working out good for me, and we could really use the $$$, so I'd say life is good. Although I just read that last paragraph back to myself, and was a little confused, even though I wrote it.......lol.

Hmmmm, next........my immigration woes may be over next week!!! They finally sent me a letter requesting an interview with my husband and me next Wednesday. I don't know exactly what this means, but I think it means that if all goes well (aka I don't walk in wearing a turban or carrying explosives), then I will finally be a tax-paying, law-abiding resident of Canada. But don't worry.........I have not, and will never, renounce my American citizenship..........just a resident here, but I live and breathe USA!!! Anywho, becoming a resident doesn't change much, I guess..........just means I get to pay taxes, I can work w/o having to renew a permit every year, I can go to school if I want, and I don't have to pay a fee to live here anymore!!! Although some would call taxes fees to live in a country.......... Oh yeah, I get healthcare too, that's a plus. Free prescription drugs, anyone? :)

Anyone excited for me yet? Yeah, that's what I pretty much thought............lol. Other key points of interest in our household:

  1. Spencer, our kitty, now weighs six pounds (can I get a woot woot?)
  2. My mama just had some tests done and she is doing really well
  3. James caved and we have been playing Christmas music in the house for the past week or so
  4. My sister is having baby #2 in the spring.
  5. I won and lost at the same time in my NFL football survival pool........how crazy is that?
  6. We love our life -- God has blessed us with so much!!!

Okay, I'm signing off now..........gotta get ready for the working day.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

pumpkin Friday

1 scrumptious pumpkin doughnut from Timmy's
1 yummy pumpkin pie baked at 7:30 am
+ 1 delicious pumpkin pie blizzard from Dairy Queen
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
= 1 very pumpkin pie kind of day

P.S. You can't go wrong with pumpkin! :-)

P.S. #2 Does the word "pumpkin" look funny to anyone else?
It just looks like a very odd word. I like odd words.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

first snow!

I went out to check the mail this afternoon, and I wasn't expecting what I found! Nothing great in the mail of course, but it was SNOWING!!! Now lest you think I was actually excited by this prospect.........I wasn't. A little shocked, perhaps. This means that winter is really on its way, not even a month after fall has begun. I guess those beautiful colors aren't going to last long under these conditions. Anyways, I couldn't really be mad about this one........it was basically just flurries and didn't really stick for long. Here are some pics of the white stuff. I thought the second picture was especially interesting........it looks like spring and winter all rolled into one!




Tuesday, October 10, 2006

happy Thanksgiving!!!

Yup, you heard that right! While everyone else was celebrating (?) Columbus Day in the States, up here, we had Canadian Thanksgiving! Which seems like a pretty good tradeoff to me, seeing as no one really does anything to celebrate Columbus Day -- but Canadian Thanksgiving is just like American Thanksgiving -- lots and lots of food and fellowship and thanks to God! Now I must admit that I'm pretty sure that Canadian Thanksgiving is a rip-off of the American version (I'm American, I don't have a problem admitting that!). But who in their right mind could complain when it means I get TWO Thanksgiving dinners every fall? Now that's what I'm talking about! :)

Anyways, we went over to Jamie's parents' house for Thanksgiving dinner. But before we did that, we decided to take a drive through the countryside and look at all the beautiful fall colors. I was a little bit disappointed that there wasn't a brilliant blue sky as there had been the previous two days, but the colors were still amazing. Here are a couple of pictures I took.



Okay, I realize that last picture has nothing to do with beautiful fall colors, but I like it anyways!

So, Thanksgiving at the in-laws was rather fun. There were about 20 people there, and it was anything but quiet! My husband has a rather large family........we were there, his parents, his grandparents, his ten siblings, and three friends. Good times! Thanksgiving is always a big feast, but seeing as there were so many people there, this was quite a feast! After dinner, we all sat around the (very long) table and played Apples to Apples. Which, if you haven't ever played, you absolutely must! Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, and now I am blessed with two! Jamie and I are hoping to drive down to PA for American Thanksgiving in November. But if we can't make it, you can bet I'll be cooking up a great turkey/stuffing/potatoes/cranberry sauce/pumpkin pie dinner for two right here in Canada on that day. :)

Oh, by the way, there is ONE better thing about American Thanksgiving -- NFL football all day!

Sunday, October 8, 2006

seasons

I'm having slightly mixed feelings about the changing seasons that are almost/suddenly/finally upon us. On the one hand, I am very reluctant to give up summer. On the other hand, I'm very excited for Christmas........one of the only things I actually like about winter. :) Okay, maybe that's a small exaggeration.......I also like hot apple cider and wearing sweaters and the first big fat snowflakes and hot chocolate and Tim Horton's and sledding and ice skating and hoodies and Thanksgiving and going to PA for New Year's and building snowmen and fireplaces and making snow angels and more. Okay, maybe I don't dislike winter that much, it's just that I love summer so much!

I took James to work the other morning, and (horror of horrors) first I had to scrape ice off the car!!! It was a whopping 31 degrees! I am so not ready for that! It doesn't help that winter lasts until April up here. Anyways, I absolutely refuse to accept that it is now fall and winter is fast approaching. To show my disgust and distaste, I am being stubborn and continuing to wear flip flops. It's kind of funny, but really borders on stupidity. :) After taking James to work the other day, I had to park down the street b/c our driveway was being worked on. Well, I'm sure I was quite a sight walking back home.........I was wearing fleece pants, a long-sleeve shirt, a warm hoodie, and..........pink flip flops. And I will continue to adamantly wear them as long as I can or at least until my toes turn blue and are frost bitten! I have issues with the fact that flip flops are only created to be worn in the warmer months. I suppose part of the problem is my aversion to socks in general, and also my being too lazy to tie shoes! :) Anyways, it was a bit warmer today, and I wore my flip flops with pride and without looking stupid (at least I like to think so).

On to the joys of winter -- Christmas! Now I know it seems a little too early to be thinking of Christmas, but I can't help myself! I would put up our tree tomorrow if James would let me. (And no, he won't.....I already asked him.......lol) But today was a good day, b/c we downloaded tons of Christmas music and burned it on CDs. I really want to listen to it all now, but Jamie says I have to wait until November at least............

In the meantime, I've noticed the fall colors are becoming more beautiful and more brilliant. I really have to take some pictures before they all disappear and the (ugly cold horrible) winter sets in. I try to hide my true feelings with parentheses, but I don't think I'm fooling anyone........lol! Just not looking forward to shoveling and digging out the car and scraping ice off the windows and driving in the snow and being cold all the time and wearing socks and having to put on ten layers just to go check the mail.........

So, what's YOUR favorite season? Fifty bonus points to whoever can figure out mine...........lol.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

am I crazy?

I have been playing music all day while I clean the house, wash dishes, and such. And I just really love the words to one of the songs I heard, so I thought I would post it here. It's called "Crazy."


Why would I spend my life longing for the day that it would end?
Why would I spend my time pointing to another man?
Isn't that crazy?
How can I find hope in dying with promises unseen?
How can I learn Your way is better in everything I'm taught to be?
Isn't that crazy?

And if I boast, let me boast in filthy rags made clean,
And if I glory, let me glory in my Saviour's suffering,
Isn't that crazy?
And as I live this daily life, I trust You for everything,
And I will only take a step when I feel You leading me,
Isn't that crazy?

I have not been called to the wisdom of this world,
But to a God Who's calling out to me;
And even though the world may think
I'm losing touch with reality
It would be crazy to choose this world over eternity.
So you can call me crazy....


I just love this song......it runs through my head many times a day. It really helps to be reminded that even though the world may think I'm weird, nuts, or just plain crazy, my end result and reward is eternity with Christ. Call me crazy, but I can't think of anything better than that. Anyways, just thought I'd share that. Maybe it will be an encouragement to you.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

date night

How wonderful a rainy day can turn out to be. :)

Jamie works in construction (for the time being), and had the day off on Tuesday due to thunderstorms in the morning. So, it was nice to have him home and nice for him to get some rest. We tried not to think about the fact that this means less $$$ in the next paycheck. Oh well, it's just money.

Anyways, we don't usually go out during the week b/c Jamie has to get to bed early. But for lack of anything better to do (AKA watch TV or stare at the walls), we opted to go out. Now you might be thinking, why in the world would we go out and spend money when Jamie had the day off? Spending money when there was no cash flow coming in seems a little illogical. And I admit, if you're thinking this, you're probably right. But it's just what we do. We never said we were logical..........lol. :)

And I don't think we were irresponsible either........we didn't get an appetizer and ordered water at the restaurant, and Tuesday is cheap movie night at the theater. Ah ha, you see, we only spent a little money........which means we only spent a little more than we don't have instead of a LOT more than we don't have. Think about it...........and you still won't get it. The point is we had fun.

So we went to East Side Mario's.........a yummy Italian restaurant. It is my favorite restaurant in Canada, b/c they have an awesome replica of the Statue of Liberty in there.......reminds me of my good old home in the USA. :) Then we went to the movies after dinner. It sounds so funny, right? Isn't that the classic date..........dinner and a movie? And here, Jamie and I have been together for 4 years and we have never done that before! We've gone to dinner a lot, sure, and the movies here and there, but never on the same night. So it was rather special. And it totally made sense.......since we had dinner ahead of time, I wasn't hungry at the movie.......which made Jamie's wallet happy. :) We saw The Guardian, in case anyone cared. I think we both enjoyed it immensely. We got home around 10 pm, so Jamie still had time to go to bed early enough.

I think the best part of the evening was the fact that we walked everywhere! I love walking places with Jamie. The rain had cleared up, and it was just a very pleasant fall evening, a little warmer than we have been having lately. And we are very fortunate enough to live within walking distance of many stores and restaurants. All in all, it was a very enjoyable time, but then again, so is every time I spend with my husband. I love him!

Oh yeah.....what was Jamie's favorite part of the night? I'm pretty sure it was the fact that he didn't have to stay home and watch the Yankees game with me! That is pure torture for him. After we got home, I watched the rest of the game.........turned out to be a perfect evening, b/c, of course, the Yankees won. Go Yanks!

a pic of my mom

Doesn't she look healthy? :-)

Monday, October 2, 2006

October is.....

.....Breast Cancer Awareness Month


I guess to some of you, that doesn't really seem like a big deal. But it is to me. Every day is "awareness day" to me. Every day, I think of my mom.........every day, I look down at the pink band on my arm and think of the thousands and thousands of others.


My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in January of this year. It is really hard for me, so I can only imagine how much harder it must be for her. The hardest part for me is not being able to be there with her. But our God is good and big and strong..........and EVERYWHERE. He is here with me, and He is there with her. By His grace, she has made it this far. And we can only wait to see what the next months will hold in store.

Friday, September 29, 2006

a pleasant afternoon :)

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with Oma. We had such a nice time together. By the way, if you still have grandparents to enjoy, I urge you to take advantage of the time you can share together. Grandparents can be such a gift......they have so much love and knowledge to give. I miss all of my grandparents dearly, so I am especially glad that I now have Opa and Oma.

Anyways, usually when I see Oma, lots of people are around. But this time, it was just she and I. We had a nice lunch together, and then looked through my wedding album that I just got a couple of weeks ago. Well, that just made us want to look at more pictures, so we went down to the basement and dug out all kinds of old things. We spent the afternoon drinking tea/coffee and looking at all sorts of pictures, mostly wedding. I saw Opa and Oma's wedding pictures from 1957, which were just beautifully classic. Then I saw all the wedding pictures of Oma's children -- my in-laws (of course), and the rest of the aunts and uncles. We had a good time working our way through the decades and laughing at the clothing and hairstyles that everyone thought were so fashionable! :)

Oma was a nurse, so after that, we spent a good bit of time relating stories and chatting about nursing. Then, as always when I go there, I played the piano for her, and we sang together. There is just something so special about a grandma and the love she shows, even to me, a granddaughter that she just gained last year.

So, if you haven't recently, go spend time with your grandparent(s)! Or if they don't live nearby, call them and tell them you love them. Or write a letter. Your life will be enriched, and your grandparents will be happy. As for me, I can't wait for the next day when I can go back!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

gas prices revisited

Gas prices went down again.

I just thought I'd post that b/c I'm happy about it! Currently, at the station down the street, gas is $0.80 a liter ($3 a gallon). It's so nice to be able to fill up for 20-something dollars instead of 30-something dollars.

My good mood continues....

Rose, Ruby, and Evelyn

This is a blog that I copied over from myspace. I thought some of you might enjoy reading it. To read more about another lady from our nursing home, click here.

For those of you who don't know, Jamie and I spend some Sundays every month volunteering at a nursing home. I also volunteer at a retirement home here in the area during the week on occasion. Which I totally recommend......it is a very rewarding, inspiring, and often humbling experience.

Anyways, on Sundays, we have a sort of church service with them, mostly sing hymns and the like. Many people come to these services, but not many people come to every service. That is, with the exception of Rose and Ruby.

Rose is a great lady with a wonderful smile. I do not think she is as old as some of the others, but because of her total dependence on others to care for her, she lives in this home. Rose faithfully attends every service. But Rose is special in another way -- she cannot talk. The first time we met her, we weren't sure if she actually wanted to come to the services, or if she was just placed there by the nurses to be babysat by us, in a manner of speaking. We soon discovered this was not the case! As we came to get the people from their rooms to come to the service, we would ask Rose if she would like to come. That was when the most beautiful thing would happen.......her face would light up with the brightest and best smile and she would nod her head. During the service, while others were singing joyfully and even loudly, Rose's smile sang for her. I smile just to think about it.

Then there is Ruby. Ruby also comes to every service. Ruby, however, can speak, and usually does a lot of it! In her advanced stages of dementia, she sometimes rambles on and on about things the rest of us cannot see or hear. But what is generally garbled speech becomes quite understandable as Ruby listens to the old hymns we sing. Every time she hears them, without exception, Ruby will stop in the middle of her ramblings, and say, "Oh, that's beautiful, just beautiful" and stop and listen. She makes me smile too.

Evelyn is a lady that lives at the retirement home that I go to during the week. I truly think that I would be hard pressed to find a more gracious woman. She is just lovely and elegant in every sense of the word. She is also very independent, but unfortunately has to depend on others for some things, because she is blind. However, what would be a handicap for most, is more of an asset to Evelyn, or at least that's what she says. As I play the piano for them to sing hymns, I look around at all these people. Evelyn is the one singing all the songs, every line, every word. She told me that because she does not have to worry about reading the words, she can picture the face of God while she sings in praise to Him. How beautiful is that? It inspires me so much every time they sing "Amazing Grace" and I see Evelyn singing, "I was blind, but now I see!" I venture to say she sees more than the rest of us!

I am so blessed to have these people in my life. Every time I volunteer, I am inspired a thousand times over.

Jays game

Anyone who knows me really well knows that I am the New York Yankees' biggest fan. I live and die with the Yankees. I know every guy's number, I know the batting lineup, I know the starting pitchers......and I might even be able to tell you a few stats. :) For those of you who might think I'm a bandwagon jumper, or I just picked them b/c they're good, well, think again. Just ask my mom and she'll tell you that I have liked the Yankees ever since I was a little kid. The reason why? Because my daddy liked them!

That being said, my husband is a major Blue Jays fan. Probably not their biggest fan, but we'll just say he likes them. :) We watch a lot of their games on TV at home, so I know all their players and stuff as well. Well, the Yankees and the Jays are in the same division. Which means they are rivals........which sometimes doesn't bode well in this household.......lol. For our anniversary in July, we went to a Jays/Yankees game. Maybe not the best idea in the world.......we are both majorly competitive, and I think there's maybe a little bit of sore loser in there, too. :) Afterwards, we figured out that even though we both enjoy going to baseball games, it wasn't the most fun in the world to cheer against each other the whole time.

So.........on Saturday, we decided to go to a Jays/Red Sox game. The Boston Red Sox are also in the same division as the Jays and the Yankees, and are an even bigger rival of the Yankees. In essence, that means I don't like either team! The Yankees had already won the division a few days ago, so this game was pretty inconsequential to me. Except for the fact that I HATE the Boston Red Sox!!! Even though I would normally never cheer for the Jays, I did it this time and with great gusto. My husband and I were finally cheering for the same team!

It was such great fun to boo the Red Sox, which we did with great enthusiasm. There was a whole row of Sox fans behind us, and Sox fans in front of us, so we made sure to cheer for the Jays and boo the Red Sox extra loudly. I think by the end of the game, they were very sorry they had traveled all the way to Canada to see their team play. We had two of Jamie's brothers with us, and I think they were a little embarrassed to be seen with us. :) We are going to go to more games next season, so I think we will try to go to ones when they play Boston......we had such a great time! :)

For all you Boston fans out there.....the hunt for October is over. Sorry, boys!

P.S. The Jays won the game 5-3. How very gratifying.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Mabel

Mabel is a tiny lady who has inspired me and changed my life and reinforced my faith, yet I have never met her. And I will never get a chance to meet her in this lifetime, not until Heaven.

For those of you who don't know, Jamie and I started a nursing home ministry in our church, and we visit a local nursing home one to two times a month, holding services and singing and that type of thing. We have been doing this, I guess, 8-9 months now. Volunteering there has opened up a great opportunity for our pastor, whom they asked to be one of their spiritual staff, so to speak.

So, last week, our pastor got a call and they said a lady named Mabel wanted to see a pastor because she was nearing the end. I guess she had cancer and a broken hip, and was just very sick. He went in to talk to her, and come to find out, she was a Catholic and wanted her last rites. Instead of just saying, "well, I don't do that and have a good day" type of thing, he took the opportunity to talk with this lady about the condition of her soul. I don't know everything that happened, but I do know that he asked her, "do you know what the requirement is to get into Heaven?" And then he proceeded to walk her through the simple plan of salvation. When he had finished explaining it, he was about to ask her if she wanted him to pray with her so she could receive Christ as her Saviour. But he didn't even get that chance, b/c as soon as he was done talking, she bowed her head and began praying and asking the Lord into her heart to save her! Needless to say, he was so excited! She continued praying and told the Lord that even though she was going to spend the rest of her life on this bed, that she wanted to give her life to Him.

The next day, Mabel's daughter called our pastor and said, "what have you done to my mother? There is such a change in her!" Apparently, when her daughter had come in to visit, Mabel was all smiles and said to her, "I've received Jesus as my Saviour and you should, too!" Our pastor was so glad, b/c he had been praying for some reassurance that she had really given her life to the Lord, and there it was!

Five days after Mabel got saved, she entered into her eternal rest with her newly found Saviour. In fact, she passed away during the time we were there having a service with the other residents. The next day, Mabel's daughter called up our pastor again and asked him if he would mind speaking at her funeral. Well, the Lord was just working in amazing ways at opening so many doors in this situation. It was the kind of thing that just made you sit back and say, "Wow, God, You are awesome!"

The funeral went well, and our pastor spoke about receiving the Lord Jesus into your heart. Most of the people there were Catholics, and were a little stunned that there wasn't a traditional mass. However, there was one lady in the back, who kept nodding her head in agreement as our pastor was talking. After the service was over, this lady came up to him, and said that she was a born again believer. She had been Mabel's nurse for several years and had often spoken to Mabel about her need of a Saviour. Every time in the past when she had tried to witness to her, Mabel would become angry and tell her to be quiet and that she didn't want to hear it. When she heard that Mabel had passed away, she was reluctant to come to the funeral, but did so anyways, and thereby received one of the biggest blessings of her life.....that lady she had witnessed to for all those years had finally become a Christian!

This whole story encouraged me in so many ways. Our God that we serve is just incredible! It really helped me to know that God can still save elderly people. Sometimes, it can get discouraging going to the nursing home week after week and seeing little outward response. You wonder how much some of them understand, if they understand at all. You wonder what your purpose is there, and what God is doing here. And then you hear one story about one lady trusting Christ as her Saviour, and suddenly everything makes sense. We can't always see everything, we don't know everything that will happen, we certainly can't see the seeds we are planting. Just like that nurse who planted seeds with Mabel for years and finally saw results now.

Some plant, some water, but it is God that giveth the increase. "He must increase, but I must decrease." All glory be to Him for another soul who has safely entered His fold!

Friday, September 22, 2006

cravings.....and I'm not pregnant!

So yesterday, I was feeling terrible pretty much all day for lovely girlie reasons. I wasn't really in pain, just feeling uncomfortable. But anyways, when I get like this, I like to eat (and eat and eat and eat..........and so on!). I'm going to be a bad pregnant lady! (NOTE: This is not an announcement of any kind! I'm just saying if and when the time comes.........lol) After dinner last night, I just kept thinking about food and how good certain things would taste. Just kinda thinking about it, and not saying anything out loud.

It got to the point where thinking about it wasn't enough, so I got my shoes and jacket on to go to Walmart. Which my husband thought was extremely weird, but oh well. :) I decided I wanted Coke and Oatmeal Crisp Maple Nut cereal. Now Oatmeal Crisp is my absolute favorite cereal in all the world, and usually any variety will do, but for some reason, I really wanted the Maple Nut kind. Don't ask me why. I got the Coke at Walmart, and then come to find out that they didn't have my cereal in stock!!! They only had the Vanilla Yogurt kind (how dare they?).

After being frustrated (for like two seconds), I didn't even hesitate. I bought the stuff I had in my hands and then was on to the next store in search of the elusive Maple Nut cereal. I think I found it at the third store, and it cost me a dollar more than it would have at Walmart. But what's a girl to do? I pity my poor husband should I ever become pregnant.........I am liable to send him out at all hours of the night for Slurpees and chocolate and who knows what else? :)

Now everything was was all better. I had my cereal and I could forget about my discomfort. Hopefully next time, I'll crave something that we actually have in the house. But I'm not placing any bets.............

Thursday, September 21, 2006

the little things in life

Someone sent me this as a forward.......I usually delete them immediately, but I liked this one!

A list of natural highs.........things we dismiss as the small stuff......

  1. Falling in love
  2. Laughing so hard your face hurts
  3. A hot shower with someone you love ;)
  4. No lines at the supermarket
  5. A special glance
  6. Getting mail that isn't a bill
  7. Taking a drive on a pretty road
  8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio (this does make me quite happy!)
  9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside
  10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer (gotta love it!)
  11. Milkshakes
  12. A bubble bath
  13. Giggling
  14. A good conversation
  15. The beach
  16. Finding a 20-dollar-bill in your coat from last winter (this has happened!)
  17. Laughing at yourself
  18. Looking into someone's eyes and knowing they love you
  19. Midnight phone calls that last for hours (the best)
  20. Running through sprinklers
  21. Laughing for no reason at all
  22. Having someone tell you that you're beautiful
  23. Laughing at an inside joke
  24. Friends
  25. Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you
  26. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep
  27. Your first kiss (wow!)
  28. Making new friends or spending time with old ones
  29. Playing with a new puppy or kitten
  30. Having someone play with your hair
  31. Sweet dreams
  32. Hot chocolate (or hot apple cider)
  33. Road trips with friends
  34. Swinging on playground swings (I love to do this!)
  35. Making chocolate chip cookies
  36. Having your friends send you homemade cookies
  37. Holding hands with someone you care about
  38. Running into an old friend and realizing some things (good or bad) never change (true enough)
  39. Watching the expression on someone's face as they open a much-desired present from you
  40. Watching the sunrise or sunset
  41. Getting out of bed every morning and being grateful for another beautiful day
  42. Knowing that someone misses you
  43. Getting a hug from someone you care about deeply
  44. Knowing you've done the right thing, no matter what other people think

I notice that many of these are about laughing! :D In which case, I'm good, cuz I'm always laughing! Which one is your favorite?

random

Well, I have a feeling that this post is going to be about anything and everything, hence the title. :)

First off, I'm a little frustrated b/c I already wrote this post and it somehow got deleted. Well, probably the more accurate description would be to say that I accidentally deleted it, but I was going to try to let my computer take the blame for my error. :) It's so easy to blame things on inanimate objects (or the cat, for that matter!). Let me see if I can remember what I wrote.

My parents came up to visit this past weekend, which was a very nice time for everyone, I think. They came a little earlier than planned, and were able to say an extra day, so needless to say, I was excited about that. My parents are not the kind of people who could ever wear out their welcome, unless they were to stay for months and months and months or something. Even then, I don't know if I would be sick of them, b/c I just happen to have the absolute best parents! Not that I always thought so, but that's another story for another post. We only have a one-bedroom apartment, so we let them stay in our bedroom and we slept on the sofas. (Okay, there's the reason we might not want them to stay too long!) I am very fortunate that my husband has a great relationship with my parents, so he even took the day off on Monday, and we all hung out together and talked and had fun. I cannot emphasize how blessed I am to have the people God placed as my parents, I could never trade them for anyone. My mama looks to be doing quite well, so thank you to all those who have prayed. She is getting the results of some bloodwork next week, so we shall see. Here is a pic of them.


Other news -- I am still in the quest to find employment. I guess jobs are not that easy to come by around here, at least if you want to work somewhere other than a fast food restaurant. I have dropped my resume by a few places, so I am waiting for call backs. What I really need to do is get moving on getting my nursing application together. I have to send separate forms to Canada, Pennsylvania, and the school where I got my degree from (apparently, I should still be IN school, since I am still ending my sentences with prepositions........lol). And there is a fee just for them to ASSESS your application! It is not a huge amount of money, but it is substantial, so it really makes you think and check and recheck and double check all the information you have written down to be sure it is correct. At any time, they may reject your application, and the fee is nonrefundable, so I am being extra careful. Sometime, I think my life is eating, sleeping, filling out paperwork, and making phone calls..........lol. Okay, it's not THAT bad.

Jamie worked all day yesterday, came home for about 20 minutes, and then headed out for the rest of the evening. So poor me, I was alone most all of the day. When Jamie is gone, I almost NEVER feel like cooking, especially just for me, it seems like such a waste. But I figured I'd better eat something. So my dinner menu was......(drum roll please).....tortilla chips with cheesy salsa, a few pieces of fresh pineapple, and a tangerine-flavored Fun Dip! And the Fun Dip was the best part, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it...........lol. Anyways, I'm sure some of you can relate to not wanting to cook for just yourself. There are some days when the first time I eat anything is when Jamie gets home and we have dinner together. Sometimes I think, what did I do before I got married? Then, oh yeah, it comes to me............Mama cooked for me......lol.

Well, I think there is more to be told, but I will save that for another post.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

a different pic of Spencer

Since the other one got deleted for some crazy reason......here is an updated pic of my kitten Spencer. She is getting so big, eh? :)



Friday, September 15, 2006

this weekend

Yay!!! My parents are coming for a visit this weekend. :) It will only be for a couple of days, but I am excited that they are driving all the way up here just to see me! They decided to bring our wedding album instead of sending it, so I get to see THEM, too. Which means I'd better get busy cleaning and cooking and baking and such. They'll be here tomorrow.

To whoever reads this, could you all please pray for my mom? She has been doing really well lately, but we never know when things could get bad again or the cancer might come back or whatever. So please keep my beautiful mom in your prayers. God has been so good.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

a yummy recipe

Well, ever since I have entered the world of housewifery and such things that go along with it, I have been experimenting with recipes. This is all new to me, b/c I rarely did any cooking or baking before I got married. Now, a year later, I have become much more comfortable. Anyways, that being said, I thought I would share this yummy recipe that I made for dinner tonight -- baked potato soup. :)

Ingredients You Will Need

  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • 2/3 cup butter (do not substitute margarine!)
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 6 cups milk (can use whole or 2%)
  • 3/4 tsp salt (can omit)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 12 slices bacon, fried and crumbled (I personally use more bacon than this to try to convince my husband that this is a "meat" dish.......lol)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (8 oz) sour cream

Directions

  1. Bake the potatoes using the method of your choice (I use the microwave)
  2. Cut the potatoes in half. Scoop out the pulp and put it in a small bowl.
  3. Melt the butter in a large kettle. Gradually add the flour to make a pasty mixture.
  4. Gradually stir in the milk. Continue to stir until smooth, thickened, and bubbly.
  5. Stir in the potato pulp, salt, pepper, bacon, and cheese. Cook until heated. Stir in the sour cream.
  6. You can serve this immediately or transfer it to a slow cooker set on low to keep it warm for as long as you wish.

And that's it! Pretty straight-forward. I made it this afternoon and kept it warm in the slow cooker until dinner time. This works well for us b/c I never know when Jamie will be home from work. And it was particularly good since the weather is showing increasing signs that autumn is near. Enjoy!

Monday, September 11, 2006

don't forget

Today is September 11, 2006. Five years later. It hardly seems like it could have been that long ago. Five years ago, I was 18 and a freshman in college for just a few days when I heard the news. How unreal it seemed. I watched some of the news reports today on the memorial services, and it still seems a little unreal. I wonder how long it will take before all Americans don't even blink an eye come September 11. Eleven years ago, there was a bombing in Oklahoma City, and I don't remember the last time I heard something about that. I hope I will not forget, I pray I will not forget.

Today, I volunteered at the retirement home. It was nice to see the Canadians remembering this day with moments of silence and such. Then, I took a lady from the retirement home to see World Trade Center tonight. It was the second time I have seen the movie, and was just as touching. Still shocking, still unreal, still very very wrong and very very sad.

Don't forget.

Opa and Oma

On Saturday, I got to spend most of the day with Opa and Oma (Jamie's grandparents) and Beth and Cheryl (two of his sisters). I am so blessed to have them and be loved by them, as I no longer have any biological grandparents of my own. And these two are definitely incredible! They are so loving and caring and very interested in what is happening in each of their grandchildren's lives (and they have 19 plus me!). And they will be married for 50 years in August 2007!

♥ OPA ♥

Opa is 76 years old (or young, depending on how you look at it). He is so cute.....right now, Oma has her arm in a cast b/c she broke two of her fingers, and Opa is taking such good care of her by doing all the housework and helping her do everything. Opa used to be a preacher, and is still very faithful in church. He is an amazing artist, and I mean AMAZING! He gave us one of his paintings for our wedding last year, and we have hung it proudly on our living room wall. (I should take a picture for all to see!) Opa and Oma have his paintings hanging all over the walls of their house. He loves to take pictures and work in his garden, which is just beautiful. He is very adept with his computer and loves to e-mail! He loves to have deep conversations! I think he must have been a psychiatrist in a past life, b/c whenever I tell him something, he says, "and how do you feel about that?" LOL! He is so great.


♥ OMA ♥Oma is a bit younger than Opa, she just turned 70. She is such an extraordinary person. I have never seen her angry or upset or say an unkind word to anyone! She is loving and giving and so cheerful. How I pray that I will learn to be as graceful as she is. Oma used to work as a nurse, and still has a part-time job doing home care for another lady. She plays the organ at church, I love to play the piano while she plays the organ. Honestly, I think she has one of the best senses of humor around! She can joke and laugh with the best of us, even with a hint of harmless sarcasm here and there. :) I think one of the most amazing things about her is that she will do anything, and I mean ANYTHING, and never ever complain about it! If I asked her to go shopping, she would do it. If I asked her to wash my dishes, she would. If I asked her to dig a big hole in my backyard, she would do it willingly and with a smile on her face. She plays Barbies with Jamie's younger sisters, and pool with his brothers. I would also do well to develop this attitude. She loves to do puzzles, and play Scrabble. She is just the best!

I'm so glad that I got Opa and Oma as grandparents when I married Jamie. They are wonderful people, and I'm blessed to know them and be loved by them! I love you, Opa and Oma!

Thursday, September 7, 2006

gas prices again....

Since I said I might be complaining about this the next time, I wanted to post this! I am definitely NOT complaining (not yet........)

I filled up with gas this (ugly cold frozen) morning at $0.84 a liter (about $3.17 a gallon). Woohoo!!! Gas prices have continued to go down, so I continue to be excited. Small things make me happy.

Okay, that's it. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

FINALLY!!!!


Well, look at that!!!! Just look! Can anyone guess what that beautiful piece of paper is???? It is my Canadian work permit, just arrived in the mail today! So as you might guess, I'm a little excited!!!! I guess that means tomorrow I will do some job hunting and applying and phone calls and stuff. I think this also means I can finally apply to take my Canadian nursing exam, so that means some studying is in order. I will update more as I learn more.

This whole past year, whenever someone has complained about their job to me, I have replied, "I would LOVE to even have a job!" And now, I can finally enter the job world. And if I know myself, in a few short months, I'll be one of those people complaining about their jobs. :) Well, hopefully not.....

Things finally seem to be moving along. I have also received the last piece of information that I need to send in to become a permanent resident, so I should get that by the end of the year. I am so thankful for everyone who prayed, and so thankful to God for allowing us to get this far. We seriously couldn't be any more blessed!

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

what's going on....

Well, I just thought I would post a little bit about stuff that is going on in our lives lately. God has been so good to us, so I thought I would share.



1) Jamie received a letter last week that he has made it all the way through the application process to become a cadet in the Ontario Provincial Police! Now, he has been put on an eligibility list and could receive an offer of employment at any time. And yes, he is extremely excited! He has wanted this for a long time, and when he gets this position, he will pretty much have a great full-time job for life. It will also mean that he can quit his other job in construction, which is very physically exhausting. Much as we are excited, we are also preparing ourselves for the cut in pay when he takes this job. The end result is good, but the starting salary is a bit less than what he is making now, although see more about that in #2. Here is Jamie in his OPP auxiliary uniform.





2) I should be receiving my work permit in the mail close to any day now! But I don't want to be too excited until it actually arrives, b/c the government is notorious for taking their good old time and holding things back due to inconsequential things. But I think I will really get it, most likely this week. So this will help when we have to take the pay cut at first. I am hoping to get a part-time job just to make some money for my nursing test. And maybe then, hopefully, I will be a nurse by the beginning of 2007. This has been something that I have been waiting for (and not very patiently!) it seems like forever.

3) hmmm, Spencer is Spencer.........tearing up the house and looking cute while doing it. She goes for her second vet visit tomorrow.

4) My mom called the other day, and our wedding album is finally ready! Only over a year later, but hey! I guess it could have been done sooner, but this whole business with living in another country is kind of extenuating circumstances, you might say. Also, the family pictures we had taken in June are done, so we will be getting those as well.

5) I got a new piano keyboard, courtesy of my church. I had this really nice keyboard that I used for a while, but when we moved, for some reason, it would not work properly anymore. So for the time being, I borrowed one to use for practice, but then had to give it back eventually. For a couple months, I didn't have anything at all, and was kind of just winging my way through playing for the services at church. Well, I knew this was not what the Lord wanted, He wanted my best. Our church offered to pay to repair my keyboard, but the store said it would cost $90 just for an estimate! How crazy is that? Our pastor then said to just buy a new keyboard and the church would cover the cost. So now I have a new keyboard and have no excuses for any mistakes on Sunday mornings! :) It is also good, b/c now Jamie and I can practice specials at home again. BONUS -- I wanted to get a stand for it, but they cost about $50 new, so I thought I would look around a bit. I'm glad I did, b/c I found a brand new one on ebay for the low low price of 55 cents!!! We'll see how good it is when it arrives.

6) It was family reunion day on Saturday for James' dad's side of the family. I met tons of new people, b/c most of these people were not able to come to our wedding, since it was in PA. It's crazy marrying into a huge family.......Jamie has like 25 first cousins on his dad's side alone! I think I have seven cousins TOTAL on both sides, so this was a little new for me, but fun!

7) First day of NFL football season is on Thursday! Yes, that is a national holiday in our house. Although I will have to watch the NY Yankees all the way through the playoffs (hopefully)

It seems like there is so much more going on in our lives than this small post. Rest assured, I will think of them and bore you with them later. :) Tonight, Beth is coming over for a girl movie night, so I am making stuffed peppers......yummy PA food!!

Later....

new page

Okay, so I'm not so great with this computer stuff. My blog looks pretty much the same, but it is a new URL and slightly different layout. I had to change it to Beta because I wasn't able to comment on anyone else's blogs and it was driving me nuts. All this to say that my old profile still exists (barely) but without a blog.


But I guess if you're reading this, you found my new blog and all is well. :) Here is me being annoyed with my computer and lack of knowledge.



Monday, September 4, 2006

World Trade Center

Well, the other day was a first for me. It was the first time EVER in my life that I have walked out of a movie theater crying after a movie.

Jamie and I went to see World Trade Center on Friday night. We had been wanting to see it since it came out, but this was the first weekend in a while that we actually were able to spend together and had time to do it. I had heard varying mixed reviews on the movie, some good, some bad. I guess a lot of people think Hollywood is just in it for the money they can make, and I don't know if that's true or not. But I do know that the movie moved me in many ways.

I was not in New York or anywhere close to it on September 11. In fact, I was in Florida at the time. I did not know anyone who was lost or injured in the attacks. I don't have any friends who have family members who were lost. I don't know anyone who worked at the World Trade Center. And yet, a desperate sadness overtook me as I watched the movie. And I know this is because I AM AN AMERICAN, and a proud one at that. Something that big is bound to affect everyone in the country.

But then I got to thinking. If the movie affected me this much, how in the world would I react if I or my family or friends were in some way directly affected by the attacks, i.e. lost or injured? I don't think there is any way that I would have been able to sit through the pain of remembering. Honestly, I sat there and cried and cried as I imagined (or feebly tried to) what it must have been like for those who were there on that day. So, in that respect, I can't get annoyed with all the people who have said it was too soon to make such a film.

Granted, I watched the movie in a Canadian theater with a largely (I'm sure) Canadian audience. And yes, I was highly annoyed with the teenagers sitting near us who were giggling and whispering throughout much of the film. At the end, a number of statistics from 9/11 were displayed on the screen. Just to see the raw numbers made me cry all over again. For example, I had no idea that rescuers were only able to pull 20 people out of the rubble alive. Just twenty. And I guess I really can't expect Canadians to understand or even feel the magnitude of what happened. But I did expect a little respect, and so many people got up and walked out during the credits at the end where they listed all the names of the people who were lost that day.

I guess human nature is what it is. We all need to take the time to feel things a little more deeply. We need to search our souls and weep for all those who were lost, all of them who were lost souls who did not know they were on their way to Heaven. It was a lesson for me -- am I honestly burdened to the point of crying over all the lost souls on their way to hell? And what am I personally doing about it?

If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it. But take a box of tissues.

God bless America.

gas prices

I just thought I would add a quick note here that I am EXCITED about the gas prices as of late! I know you usually hear everyone complaining, but how can I complain? Up here in Canada, we fill up with liters, not gallons, so our prices probably seem way cheap to everyone in the USA.

When I filled up with gas a week and a half ago, it was $1.06 a liter (translate roughly $4 a gallon). Well, prices have continued to drop and drop over the last few days, and this morning, I filled up at only $0.88 a liter (approximately $3.32 a gallon)! I was so happy.....

It's the little things in life. Of course, what I choose not to remember is the fact that when I first moved to Canada last summer, $0.88 was a normal price to be paying for gas ALL THE TIME. But I won't dwell on that. To me, I saved $5.50 off the price of last time's fill-up, and that's good enough for me! Probably next week, I'll post something about outrageous ever-changing gas prices........lol.

But for now, I am happy. :)

401 days later.....

On August 28th, we were married 401 days!! Ha ha, I know that's not a big deal, BUT something happened that marks a milestone, I think. Or else I'm just really reaching for a blog subject...........lol.

Anyways, I was reaching for something on the kitchen window sill on Monday night, and there was a glass on the counter top right underneath me. Well, of course, as I was reaching, my arm just happened to hit the glass, and it just happened to fall on the floor, and it just happened to hit the tile floor instead of the carpet that was right next to it. Yeah, I'm not bitter or anything.

It was sad in a way -- we had six glasses of that size. What do I do now when six people come over? I no longer have a complete set. But then I thought about it -- it took us (me) 401 days to break the first glass! If I only do one a year, then I guess I'm doing all right. Plus, by the time I have kids, they'll probably be breaking them every day.

Story not over. If I had just cleaned it up and been done with it, all would have been well. I could have even forgot about it, maybe. But, a couple of hours later, I was walking through that area, and I guess my cleanup skills aren't top notch or anything, b/c I stepped on a piece of glass and cut the bottom of my foot! I wasn't sure if the piece of glass got imbedded in my foot or not, so baby that I am, I got my husband out of bed to look. Amazingly enough, he was not annoyed. So, anyways, I could have forgotten the whole broken glass thing, but for now, I've got a bandaid on my foot to remind me.

Irony. :)

Spencer

Spencer is my new kitty. She is a girl.

Yes, I know Spencer is a boy name, but she is perfectly okay with that name. It fits her. In fact, I think she will probably be able to grow up without being traumatized.

Spencer weighs 3.1 pounds as of her last vet visit.

She has a scabby mark right in the middle of her nose. She hit it on our bed while trying to jump up there during the night. You might think she would learn, but she still jumps up there every night.

Spencer hates water with a passion.
When she is happy, she can purr loud enough and long enough to supply power to a small city for a while.

She does not really like to be held, but will tolerate it for small amounts of time.

Spencer likes to lie between Jamie and me in bed (think what this is doing to our marriage......lol). But she doesn't understand when just one of us is lying in the bed and will jump all over the person until A) they get up or B) kick her out of the room.

Her favorite place to nap is draped over my laptop keyboard. Second favorite is the back of the sofa.

The other day, I had this cake with chocolate icing. Spencer got curious and plopped herself right on top of it! She was covered with icing. Needless to say, she got her first bath, and I was annoyed b/c I didn't get any cake.

We definitely know Spencer is a girl. She will pull my undies out of the drawer and play with them. I guess James' underwear are boring. :) She will also intently watch me put on makeup.

She likes to wake me up in the morning by licking my nose and patting my face with her paws.

We know Spencer loves us, b/c she used to play with her claws extended, and now she doesn't anymore. No more scratch marks.

Spencer has one little gray and black spot right in the middle of her otherwise all white belly.

She loves feet and shoes.

It is one of her great interests in life to watch me clean out her litter box. She sits right next to me and purrs approvingly. :)

She likes to sit at the computer with me and watch me play Tetris. At first, I didn't really think she was seeing it, but then she began swatting at the pieces as they were falling! She gets annoyed when nothing happens as she hits them. :)

My husband discovered she likes to play peek-a-boo. If you look at her while she is sitting under the table and then move your face away and do it a few times, eventually she will catch on. When you bring your face back, she will start "attacking" you by swatting your face and licking it!

Spencer is a great little kitty. I will add more when she does more cute things.

from yesterday......

I am the pianist at my awesome church. Which is generally a joy, and sometimes a challenge. Yesterday, the songleader announced that people in the congregation could pick favorite hymns out of the book and everyone would sing them together. I always get nervous at times like this, because inevitably, someone will pick a song that either 1) I don't know, or 2) I don't really like to play.

Well, an elderly man raised his hand and picked a number. After everyone had turned to it, there was somewhat of an uncomfortable silence in the building. I looked at John, the songleader, and he seemed a bit embarrassed as he admitted he was not familiar with the song. The pastor (of course) did not know the song, and most everyone else there was looking a bit confused. I, of course, did not know the song either, but I bravely said I could play it. Ha ha, they thought I was awesome, but it was really so easy, in the key of F and in 3/4 timing.

The pastor suggested that the man who had picked it come up to the front and teach it to everyone. He willingly obliged, and we made it through the song, and gracefully, at that! What we discovered, though, was a beautiful old hymn with wonderful words. I think we were all blessed to have had the opportunity to hear it and learn it. Some of the words were very moving, so I decided to post them here.


"Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Till I am wholly Thine,
Till all this earthly part of me
Glows with Thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
So I shall never die,
But live with Thee the perfect life
Of Thine eternity."

The words and the simple melody were very beautiful. I think it just goes to show us that while many modern worship songs are gorgeous and have their place in the service, the old hymns have not lost their power either. I am glad our church sings some of the old hymns. Thanks, Mr. Jerry, for the new/old song!

here's me!

Just starting my blog and seeing how things will go. I used to post entries randomly on MySpace, but I think I will try to be a little more regular on here. But who knows? I have faith in myself!

Just a little about me, I'm sure you can read the about me section for yourself, so I won't go into too much detail. I'm 23, I've been married a little over a year to Jamie, I live in Canada (even though I am American), I am a nurse, I am a mom to my little kitty Spencer.Hmmm, that seems like all the vital statistics. If you want to know more, just ask!

---Melissa